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A hard-knock world for poets

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A hard-knock world for poets

by Nurene Jassiem
14 Feb 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

I recently made some enquiries about getting a book of my poetry published and was saddened to discover how difficult it actually is. Fortunately, the woman at the publishing company I enquired at was quite friendly and gave me a long list of things I could do to get people to see my work.


I love poetry, writing and reading it, and though my work might not be Nobel Prize quality, I would've thought it'd be nice if I could have it put into book form and displayed for others to see - and critique of course.

The woman I spoke to said it could take "up to 10 years of shots in the dark", having my work published in various journals before someone commissions me to have my work published in book form.

So I guess I'll have to take good aim if I want my dream of having my book published one day to come true. This week I leave you will my latest piece of poetry inspired by the movie Blood Diamond.

WHEN THE WAR IS OVER

When the red dust settles as the sun sets upon the African sky
The thick air smells of gunmetal and the bodies of those who died
Bloodshed and wounds have smeared the continent's name Of the women and children who are killed and maimed
I hear their voices in the silence
It hails from the minefields that once were our homes
Where children became soldiers and our naivety faded into oblivion.

Shattered like our dreams of education and success
Splattered like the blood of those who sought happiness
But the war is over and what can we do?
Fighting has become all we now know how to do
Our youthful bodies are masked by war-vet eyes
We walk like machines and have forgotten how to cry
Infantry has new meaning
When you were recruited like me, I was ripped from my cot and told I'd be free,
They bribed me with freedom so I wanted to know more,
Today I am a man aged only fifteen and my youth is no more.
I am a child of Africa, my plight you do not know
I am the child soldier who was dealt a lethal blow
I walk among the ruins of the place you call your mother land
They say the war is over but all I see is my severed hand
How can it be over when I still can't sleep at night?
How can it be over when you still don't hear my plight?
I wake up to the sunrise that glows over the bloodshed earth
The red dust, you see, is a part of who I am
Many children like me shed our blood on this motherland
I am the product of your greed for success
The gunmetal you smell has ripped through my flesh
The sun is up and I see the blue African sky
And though I won't easily admit this, Memories of the dreams I once had bring tears to my war-torn eyes.

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